Are your employees engaged in your corporate vision, mission, strategy and goals? Or are your employees just showing up, putting in their time, getting their work done and spending their free time dreaming of going to work for one of your competitors? Today it is imperative that company leaders are committed to providing formal engagement opportunities with all of their employees. Employee turnover has a huge, negative impact on your company’s profitability, quality control and company morale. In addition high employee turnover correlates directly to high customer turnover. The more turn, churn and burn you have with your employees, the more likely your customers are to shop your competitors, the lower the quality of your product/service and the larger the impact to your company’s bottom line. These seven steps will help you company engage and motivate your workforce.
1. Individual Connection. You must get your employees to make a connection between their heart (passion) and their work. Too many employees focus on the required tasks, the timeline, the barriers to success, and the potential hassles and effort required to accomplish their tasks. They focus strictly on accomplishing their goals/tasks instead of making an emotional connection with the work and their accomplishments. Your company can’t grow without your employees, so you must help your employees understand their part of the organization and help them make a connection between their work and contributions to the organization. As we all know- a wheel is made up of several parts, and each part is required to perform in order for the wheel to work, the same concept applies to your company. Your organization is made up of several of types of employees and each person is needed to deliver your product/service to your customers.
2. Personal Accountability. Employees need to understand what is expected of them- professionally and personally. Most employees are given a position description when they are hired, which outlines their required duties and needed skills. Few employees are given a list of expectations on what it takes to drive their individual performance and the performance of the entire company to success. Most of us think that getting people to change and engage is all about motivation. We believe that with the proper motivation anything is possible, and hence most employers think if employees want their job bad enough, they will accomplish their tasks. The problem is most employees don’t understand how their role fits into the overall company strategy and they don’t always understand what is expected of them. Successful company leaders engage their employees in both their individual contributions and also with the overall company initiatives to accomplish the corporate strategy and goals.
3. Social Engagement. Learning how to be both an individual contributor and a team player requires a lot of feedback, direction, encouragement, praise and rewards. When you recognize individual contributions within a team effort, you automatically generate good will and a sense of pride in participating with the group. When you recognize the team’s collective efforts, you will continue to realize the project and company goals are met. Pairing the recognition with an appropriate reward is the enforcement that will continue to drive the desired performance well into the future.
4. Social Ability. You can’t expect your employees to lead their staff and their teams if they haven’t been schooled (coached) on being an effective leader. Your senior management team needs to be providing coaching on effective leadership on a regular basis, but more importantly they need to model the behavior that they desire in all of their employees. In addition you need to make sure your company policies, support the type of culture that you are creating. You can’t have engaged employees, if your policies and procedures are not “employee friendly.”
5. Organized Motivation. Rewards help motivate and keep your employees focused on the goals. In addition rewards are an effective method of reinforcing desired performance. You don’t have to reward every action, every accomplishment, but you do need to occasssionally reward your employees who have “gone above and beyond.” Rewards need to be reflective of the employees’ contribution, in alignment with the company culture and timely for the performance delivered. The biggest reward (and least expensive) is recognition and appreciation. Remembering to acknowledge and thank your employees for their contributions is invaluable.
6. Corporate Accountability. While you expect your employees to be accountable to your company, their work and their co-workers, you as the employer need to be accountable to your employees. First you need to make sure you provide your employees with the direction, guidance, support and encouragement to do their jobs. You need to be actively communicating with your employees, making sure they are both understanding and delivering the quality, the timeliness and the expectations you have outlined. In addition it is imperative, that you provide your employees the tools they need to get their work done. If you have employees who can tele-commute, work remotely, travel, and work on a variety of projects or teams you need to make sure you give those employees your full support.
7. Measuring your success. Nothing is perfect, and nothing should be set in stone, so it is important that your company have tools to measure your employee engagement initiatives and programs. Create a reasonable time frame, solicit feedback and change what needs to be changed, tweak what needs to be tweaked. As your company grows adding new staff, new products/services or new locations, make sure you adjust your engagement program to align with your company’s new strategy. Your company is dynamic and your company programs need to change adapt and grow with your organization.
The more engaged your employees, the lower your turnover, the higher your productivity and morale. As human beings we all take pride in that which we own and getting your employees to “own their jobs and actively manage their careers” is a great motivator for engaging your employees. You will never know what your employees can and will accomplish with the appropriate guidance, vision, motivation and recognition. Create and customize your engagement programs for all of your employees and watch your company’s quality, customer relationships and profitability grow.